Overview of Web Application Development
Are you planning to or working on developing a web application? If yes, this blog is for you. This blog covers everything. From understanding what is a web application to its types and the development process to its benefits. So, let’s start with an overview of web application development.
What is a Web Application?
A few years ago, web pages were still and lifeless. But now, gone are the days of basic web pages with just images and videos scattered around. You can now make visually appealing web applications much more easily and quickly.
A web application is often called a web app. It is a computer program that uses a web browser to perform an action. It comprises a client side and a server-side. Therefore, the user enters data through the front end while the back end of the application stores and processes the information. Some common examples of web applications are shopping carts, content management systems, and online forms.
Note that both individuals and enterprises build web applications for different purposes. Web apps help incorporate tailored user experience of native applications. Also, it is easy to access from a web browser on any device. For instance, Facebook, Linkedin, and Mailchimp have web applications that offer tailored user experiences of native apps. Hence, web application development is gaining popularity these days. Some highly preferred web app development industries are banking, eCommerce, healthcare, education, etc.
What is Web Application Development?
Web application development is creating an application that runs on a web server. It interacts with a browser. Also, the process of developing a web application is usually aided by a web application framework.
How does a Web Application Work?
You can access a web application over a network. Also, unlike a mobile app, you don’t need to download it. Instead, you can easily access it through a web browser. It could be Google, Yahoo, Opera, or Safari.
Usually, a web application comprises three components:
- A Web Server – manages requests from the client
- An Application Server – processes requests
- A Database – stores the information.
Here’s an overview of a typical web app workflow:
- A user triggers a request to the web server. It could be through a web browser or the application’s user interface. But, all of it happens over the internet.
- Web server receives the request from the browser.
- Next, the web server instructs the appropriate web application server to process the request.
- The application server performs the triggered task and generates the result.
- Last, the web server displays the requested information on the screen.
Moreover, web apps are generally coded using the following:
For the front end development:
- Java Script
For back end development:
Types of Web Applications
Now that you’ve gone through the overview of a web application, let’s get to the different categories. Usually, there are 6 significant types of web applications. You can classify them based on their functionalities, tools, and technologies.
1. Static Web Apps
A static web app does not involve interaction between the server and the user. It features per-rendered cached content. Also, it goes to the user’s browser with minimal or no interactivity. Moreover, there is no interaction either. If any changes take place on the page, it is generally after loading. A company’s website and a person’s portfolio websites are good examples of Static Web Apps.
2. Single Page Applications
This type of web application does not involve any hindrances at pace. You can smoothly continuously interact with the single page interaction. What’s best is that it dynamically rewrites the current page instead of loading entire new pages from a server. Here, SPAs perform logic browser and not on the server. As a result, user requests and responses occur effectively. Also, faster than conventional web applications. Some of the prominent single-page applications are Netflix, Twitter, Google Maps, etc.
3. eCommerce Web Application
Well, who’s not familiar with this? An ecommerce web application is an online shop. It promotes buying or selling anything online. Hence, this application requires certain major features like
- Electronic payment integration
- Transaction integration
- An effective management panel for administrators (listing/updating/deleting Products and managing orders/payments)
- A personal cabinet for users.
Furthermore, eCommerce apps are centered around technologies like
- Electronic payment gateways
- Supply chain
- Inventory management systems
- Mobile commerce
- Supply chain management
- The internet market
Some of the famous examples of eCommerce web apps are Amazon, Swiggy, Zomato, etc.
4. Dynamic Web Application
A dynamic web application engages the users with the help of certain elements and generates real-time data. It generates code in real time. That makes it possible for the page display to change each time a page is refreshed or new input is added. Hence, this kind of application requires a database to store data. Moreover, as fun, as they may sound, they’re more complicated on a technical level. You need to use many programming languages for a dynamic web application. The most common ones are PHP and ASP.NET. Furthermore, a great example of a dynamic web application is Facebook. Here you can log in easily and communicate with your friends and family without hassle.
5. CMS Web Apps
Using a CMS web app, you can create your own content. Also, you need not have any technical knowledge. You learn as you use it. Consequently, a CMS allows for website development focusing entirely on the UI and not the code. CMS is famous for its use in writing and managing blogs, media sources, etc. A few popular CMSs are WordPress, Drupal, Jhumla, etc.
6. Progressive Web Apps
Now, out of all the others, progressive web apps are the most popular type of web app. Moreover, these are the most well-developed types of web applications. Hence, they look pretty similar to mobile apps. A progressive web app is also known as a cross-platform web app. Why? Because it uses the latest browser APIs and progressive enhancement methods to provide users with a native mobile application experience. In addition, the primary goal of a WPA is to boost the speed and versatility of web applications when there is a slow internet connection.
Web App vs. Websites
Now that you’ve covered all the basics and the types of web apps, let’s understand the difference between web application vs website.
Web applications are websites indeed. Users can access both on a web browser. Also, both require access to the internet. At first, it may seem like there is no difference between the two. But, today, the lines between a web app and a website are blurred. The following table will give you an overview of Web App vs. Websites.
|It is Dynamic and encourages user engagement.
|Only contains static content.
|It is interactive and responds to the user’s input.
|One-way informational feed. It does not allow user interaction.
|Since it’s an informative site, authentication is not mandatory.
|Has got higher and complex functions.
|Has got relatively simple procedures.
|It requires recompilation before deployment.
|It need not be pre-compiled.
|Integration with other software is complicated.
|Third-party application integration is hassle-free.
Web App vs. Mobile Apps
Now, web apps and mobile apps are similar in many ways. Yet, they differ at various marks. Let’s look at the significant differences between web apps vs mobile apps.
|You can access them on any gadget.
|Firstly, mobile apps are made only for mobile devices.
|They run on a server, which you can use on a web browser.
|They’re suitable for android, IOS, and cross-platform operating systems.
|Works on all the gadgets.
|A mobile application is mobile-first. Also, it works best on smartphones, tablets, or other handheld mobile devices.
|Works on internet connectivity. Hence, they function in real-time with CPU resources.
|Many apps work offline too.
|Examples include LinkedIn, Facebook, Myntra, etc.
|Examples include Amazon Kindle, Google Maps, Uber, etc.
Web Application Development Process
There are many steps that you must go through in a web application development process. To take web application development from a concept to the launch of a fully functioning product is a long process. But, you must ensure that the end result is developed right. Moreover, the end product has to be right too. So, here is a detailed step-by-step guide for web app development:
- Come up with an idea for web app development
- Do target market research. Also, look out for your competitors.
- Plan key functionality for the web app
2. UX & UI Design
- Do user journey mapping
- Create a wireframe of the app
- Build a clickable prototype
- Visual design – Create mood boards for both UI design and UX design. Also, have frequent discussions, and then move to final design and web app development.
3. Start Development
- Choose your technology stack for web app development
- Draw your database for web app development
- Front-end development
- Back-end development and APIs
- Integrate front-end with back-end APIs
- Validate, test, and improve
- Set up hosting
- Deploy the application
Benefits of Web Application
Web application development has many benefits. Here are some of the most prominent ones:
1. Easy to Update
Since only the server requires updates, it’s pretty easy to update a web app.
2. Cross-Platform Ready
Web applications run on an operating system. Therefore, they have cross-platform capabilities. So, because of their cross-platform capabilities, they adapt well to IOS, Android, Mac OS, and Windows phones. In addition, these applications’ device responsiveness helps eliminate OS dependencies.
3. Speedy and Cost-Effective
Web application development is relatively faster. Also, it’s more economical than native apps. So, if your primary goal is to boost time-to-market, web app development is the best choice for your business.
4. Custom Development
Custom web application development offers various benefits. One of the significant features of custom web application development is that it provides tailored features to the users. Moreover, you can access them on any device via a browser. Besides, of course, there must be a stable internet connection. Also, this helps cut unnecessary expenses. Also, it saves a lot of your valuable time.
Custom web application development can significantly improve your business traction. Furthermore, they communicate your brand ideology effectively and increase brand awareness. In addition, custom web application development can help you gain a competitive edge in your niche.
5. Expanded Security
Web applications are deployed on dedicated servers. Hence, server administrators with relevant experience continuously monitor and manage them. So, this turns out to be more effective than monitoring hundreds and thousands of client computers. In addition, users get tighter security. Moreover, it is easy to identify potential breaches that could slip off.
6. Zero Downloads
You don’t need to download web apps from app stores such as Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Hence, it saves you money since having a direct link through a web app is free.
Technology Stack for Web Application Development
It is slightly challenging to name the same technology stack for web app development as it may vary from project to project. But, to give you a fair idea, here is a list of technologies that usually help with high-performing, fast, and advanced web application development.
1. Database Technologies
Given its simplicity and multifunctionality, MySQL is one of the most preferred databases for web application development. Furthermore, a few other famous database technologies include
- Oracle Database
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Microsoft Access
2. Client Side Programming
- React JS
- Angular JS
- VUE JS
- Backbone JS
- Node JS
- Ember JS
3. Server-side or Backend Programming
For back-end development, developers usually for frameworks such as
Popular Examples of Web Applications
An effective and responsive web application is mandatory today to run a successful digital business. Also, many apps have changed users’ perceptions, expectations, and thoughts of possibilities. Therefore, they might take note of everything from design to usability and reliability to security in an application. Here’s a list of the top 5 web app examples that impacted the users’ expectations and wants.
You can download Netflix as a mobile app. However, you can also access it on any web browser. Moreover, Netflix created a hosted app, “NetflixHWA” (a progressive web app). It was spotted in the Microsoft Store.
Facebook is a free social networking website. It enables people to connect with others online. Furthermore, it lets users upload photographs, post comments, post links to interesting content on the web, watch videos, and even live chat. Hence, Facebook’s success is because it appeals to both people and businesses. What’s best, it allows a single login that works across multiple sites.
3. Google Docs
Google Drive provides a progressive web app for its G Suite products. These include Google Docs, Google Drawing, Google Sheets and Google Slides. So, the web app is the most common way to access Google Docs. Also, a Chrome extension is available to use Google Docs when you’re offline.
Evernote is useful for taking notes and creating tasks, and schedules in one place. Besides, it leverages a web app to ensure sync across all your devices.
Mailchimp is one of the most famous, all-in-one marketing programs for email marketing. Moreover, it also supports website development, eCommerce, and more. Mailchimp can be interacted with as a web app.
Now that you’re equipped with all the essential information on web application development, you can make informed decisions. Especially when it comes to website application development for your business. You have to make many decisions, from ideas to visuals, choosing tech stack to code, and final launch. And we know you’ve got all the basic information on web app development in this blog. But, it’s better to consult with experts once before diving into the development phase.
You can reach out to the web application developer at Code Theorem. We can walk you through everything in detail and suggest the best solution for your business. Moreover, our team specializes in technical tasks such as web app development, UI design, UX design, prototype, wireframe, etc. Thus, we can wrap up the web application development process for you in less time.